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Literature reviews and research gap analysis on social determinants of urban health
ilnaz khadiv
/ Categories: International

Literature reviews and research gap analysis on social determinants of urban health

How social and gender dynamics in a COVID-19 context affect the prevention and control of infectious diseases of poverty

This call is in support of a long-term effort to strengthen research on urban health interventions for the control of infectious diseases of poverty. Under this call, either various individual institutions (up to four) or one institutional consortium proposal will be selected for one year’s funding totalling a maximum of US$ 140 000.

Background and rationale

By 2050, 75% of the global population will be living in urban conglomerations, mainly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Mobility, poverty, gender and health inequality and climate change are some of the social and environmental drivers of health impacts in urban settings influencing prevention and control efforts of infectious diseases, including vector-borne diseases. The current COVID-19 pandemic is posing additional challenges for health systems and services worldwide.

Demographic mobility and trade, poverty, different layers of inequalities, as well as climate variability and change, are some of the social and environmental factors that influence health impacts and exposure of human populations in urban settings to infectious diseases. These factors pose eminent public health challenges with emerging and re-emerging infections, particularly in the era of globalization and interconnectedness, requiring strengthened intersectoral policies, interventions and commitment at the urban level. In addition, the global COVID-19 pandemic brings new and additional challenges to health systems worldwide, which are likely to be exacerbated in resource-constrained settings. In the context of COVID 19, little attention has been given to comprehensive gender analyses and the sex distribution of case fatalities and comorbidities, which is increasingly showing disparities that vary geospatially, and along with other socioeconomic factors.

Urban health is influenced by several factors, including governance, population features, urban planning and socioeconomic development and health services, among others, which in turn have major implications for social and environmental determinants of health. The existence of small and medium towns, and the growth of urban slums, including non-notified slums that often lack reliable and safe piped water, adequate solid waste management and other basic services, can render large populations in towns and cities at risk of infectious diseases that can be exacerbated even more under environmental threats such as climate variability and change.

Vector-borne diseases alone cause more than one million deaths each year. The risk of infection is particularly high in towns and cities where vectors proliferate and contact with human beings is high. The incidence and distribution of infectious diseases is consequently influenced by social, demographic and environmental factors that interact under a changing climate and affect pathogen transmission patterns.

Accurate, consistent and evidence-based interventions for prevention and control of infectious diseases of poverty in urban settings are urgently needed to implement cost-effective public policy and to promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable urban health services. Understanding the social dynamics, including the gender dynamics that take place in the urban context, is needed to address bottlenecks in the implementation of effective interventions and strategies and to better understand the differentiated impacts of infectious diseases on various population subgroups and how gender intersects with other social stratifiers to better understand different experience of disease.

Call objective

The overall objective of this work is to synthesize and consolidate evidence from a series of literature reviews /state-of-the-art scoping reviews that will inform TDR’s research agenda on urban health, infectious disease and gender research, including in COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 scenarios. The work is expected to be completed by October 2021. In the PDF document linked below, there is a list of possible themes and topics which reviews could focus on. These are provided as a guide and applicants may suggest different titles. However, preference will be given to closely related topics. Each applicant is expected to conduct a maximum of two literature reviews.

for more information: https://www.who.int/tdr/grants/calls/social-determinants-urban-health/en/

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